Upcoming Events

Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour Fundraiser

May 05, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Smith Commons
1245 H St. NE
Washington, DC 20002


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DC Bar Candidate's Reception

May 10, 2016
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

K&L Gates, LLP
1601 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

RSVP to info@lgbtbardc.org

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Charlotte E. Ray American Inn of Court

May 16, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Office of Administrative Hearings
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 450 North
Washigton, DC 20001


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2016 Judicial Reception

May 25, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Vinson & Elkins
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20037

Annual Event Honoring DC Judges

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Day of Service at Washington Center for Aging Services

June 11, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Washington Center for Aging Services
2601 18th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20018

Please join us!

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Rashida Isabelle Sims


Rashida I. Sims has been a member of GWAC for 5 years and currently serves as the corresponding secretary as well as webmaster for gwacbar.org. 

Ms. Sims is a former child and family therapist turned trial attorney and currently works as an Attorney-Analyst in the Office of Appellate Operations for the Social Security Administration.   In this position, she reviews unfavorable administrative hearing decisions for social security income and insurance cases. 

Ms. Sims is also a former public defender, trained mediator, published author, as well as community servant and advocate.  Ms. Sims has appeared in Outagamie County and D.C. Superior Court on several occasions representing clients in misdemeanor criminal matters, and has represented domestic violence survivors seeking orders of protection and custody.  

Ms. Sims received her JD with Honors in 2011 from University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.  She is a current member of the District of Columbia Bar, and former member of the Wisconsin Bar.  She is also a proud alumna of Hampton University, receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 2000 and 2004. 

As an advocate and community servant, Ms. Sims has volunteered with the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Project, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Small Business Clinic, and has represented bankruptcy clients in DC through the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Bankruptcy Clinic.  As a former therapist, Ms. Sims focused on providing services to children and families in the home and community in DC., VA, and MD.   Ms. Sims brings her passion for children and community along with her skills of communication and relationship building to all she does.  ‚Äč


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2016 Charlotte E. Ray Award Reception Honoring
Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler

Greetings!  I am extremely humbled to serve as your President for the 2015-2016 bar year.  GWAC was founded on the principles of community engagement and improving opportunities for African American women in the legal profession.  My predecessors all worked extremely hard to ensure that this organization continued to thrive and impact the lives of those in and beyond the Greater Washington D.C. area; thus, I do not take my position lightly.  As a proud graduate of Howard University School of Law, it goes without saying that I was trained to appreciate the critical role of the black lawyer.  We cannot simply be comfortable in using our law degrees to be strictly litigators, professors, analysts, lobbyists, and/or politicians. Instead, if you are not already aware, I challenge you to understand that our purpose is much greater.  We are social engineers, called to influence and educate not just our fellow practitioners but, more importantly, to advance the causes of African Americans as a whole.  

In addition, here in the District of Columbia, Charlotte E. Ray made history by passing the bar exam and becoming the nation’s first African American woman lawyer.  To this end, we must not overlook the unique bond we share as black women.  I was once asked whether there is a need for an organization like GWAC, and why, since black women hold positions in many D.C.-Metro area bar associations.  Undeterred, I immediately realized that I was being given an opportunity to not only educate this particular individual but to substantiate the importance of my esteemed association. No matter how lucrative and straightforward even the most successful black woman lawyer's career path has been, undoubtedly, there are certain experiences that she has distinctively shared with all other black women in this profession. Thus, it is imperative that we continue to advance and protect our interests through educational programming, networking, service, and similar opportunities.  

My goals this bar year include fostering GWAC’s continued presence in the D.C. legal community, working closely alongside our parent organization, the National Bar Association and our fellow affiliate, the Washington Bar Association, promoting a significant amount of resources and relevant programing to members from all stages of the profession, and actively interacting and serving our community. I am always accessible and encourage you to reach out with any questions, ideas, and/or concerns for purposes of making this bar year successful. Finally, please encourage your colleagues, family members, and friends to join GWAC or renew their membership.  The support of the legal community has been a significant factor in keeping GWAC a constant, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Warmest Regards, 

 Brandes S. G. Ash, President, 2015-2016

Join Now!!

We would love for you to be part of our organization.  We have several career, social, and professional development events planned for this year.  Remember, membership has its advantages, such as access to the GWAC job bank and an invitation to some of our signature events.

We hope you consider joining our organization. Regular Membership is $65, Graduate Membership is $30 (graduated within the past two years), and Student Membership is $15.